Political Sociology and Political Economy

Course Status: 
CEU code: 
DSPS 6011
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
13 Jan 2014 - 4 Apr 2014
Stream/Track/Specialization/Core Area: 
Comparative Politics
Stream/Track/Specialization/Core Area: 
Political Economy
András Bozóki
Attila Folsz
Learning Outcomes: 
During the course students enhance their capacity of critical thinking and ability to express their own opinions. They are expected to learn how to analyze and interpret political processes and political behavior from sociological and political economic perspectives and, at the same time, understand the political impact on social and economic structures on citizens social and labor market position and their attitudes, aspirations and values.
Assessment : 
- activity (in-class participation + weekly written questions and comments): 2 x 10 = 20 % - in-class presentation (+handout): 2 x 15 = 30 % - mid-term exams (in-class, closed book): 2 x 25 = 50 %

This is a doctoral seminar building on the comparative politics, political economy and political theory MA courses.

Part I discusses basic questions in political sociology mostly focusing on the holders of power and the way power is exercised in a society. In this seminar, sociological analysis is applied to the political field, and attention is paid to social determinants and sources of political power, state formation, theories of the state, political and economic elites. The relationship between political transformation and elite change will also be discussed, just as the structure vs agency debate.

Part II  acquaints studetns with the most important current topics and concepts of comparative political economy, as a distninct branch of political economy. Classes cover some most important theoretical approaches about the role of socio-political structures and institutions on economic development and about the linkages between political and economic institutions.


Course objectives

The main aim of the course is to help students understand the social and economic  embeddedness of political processes and to familiarize them with some of the most fundamental approaches in the domain of political sociology and political economy. as well with its contemporary currents. It will allow students to understand the different theoretical approaches to the study of power, state, civil society, elites, and the role of economy in influencing policy making. The seminar program is designed in such a way that maximizes the interactions between different schools of thoughts.